China’s Jiangnan Shipyard has launched the world’s first IMO Type B very large ethane carrier (VLEC), Pacific Ineos Belstaff
Built to ABS class, Pacific Ineos Belstaff is the first in a series of four of what will be the world’s largest VLECs ever commissioned when they enter service. The 99,000-m3 dual-fuel vessel is designed for long-haul ethane transportation, but can also handle other liquified gas cargoes such as LPG and ethylene.
As a tradition, Jiangnan gives a nickname to a newly developed ship. Jiangnan called this new class of VLEC Bluebonnet, the state flower of Texas, the home state of ABS’ world headquarters. The class society said this reflects the deep engagement between engineers at Jiangnan and ABS, initially during the conceptual stage, which resulted in ABS granting approval in principle in September 2019, with subsequent design approval and construction supervision.
“Launch of this vessel is a key milestone in the development of the industry. It’s significant not simply because of its scale, but in the flexibility it offers operators to adapt to an evolving global marketplace,” said ABS director, global gas development Sean Bond.
“It is a giant step forward from a dream to reality,” said Jiangnan Shipyard chief of corporate technology Keyi Hu. ”The first VLEC launching is not only a significant milestone in construction but also a landmark to prove the technical feasibility of our own-developed ‘BrilliancE’ Type B containment system. We sincerely thank the great support from both the shipowner and ABS. I believe that Jiangnan has built-up the confidence to confidently manage the construction of subsequent Type B tanks, and this accumulated know-how can also be transferred to forthcoming LNG Type B tanks,” said Mr Hu.
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